Sein und Schein [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 37 (2):426-429 (1983)
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Abstract

In his critical interpretation of Hegel's Wissenschaft der Logik Theunissen views the Logik as a communications theory manqué. Instead of following the demands of its own program, about which Hegel himself was not entirely clear, the Logik is a "communications theory motivated by revelation theology". The genuine program of the Logik is seen by Theunissen first of all in its "critical function." This consists in dissolving the "positivity" of traditional metaphysical thinking in order to "save the truth towards which ontology strives--and from which at the same time it withdraws--by leading it over into a theory of the speculative Satz". The leading over ought to have been prepared in the Objective Logic, but Hegel's demonstration fails disastrously at crucial places both in the Seins- and Wesenslogik. To the Objective Logic the Begriffslogik stands in "schizophrenic relation." As a metaphysical theology it runs counter to the Objective Logic's critique of positivistic ontology. In its doctrine of the Judgment, however, the Begriffslogik exhibits the coming together of subject and predicate in the copula "is," which is the truth of the abstract Sein with which the Logik began. This coming together corresponds to communication theory's ideal of "communicative freedom" and the coincidence of love and freedom in a community of equals. Thus like many writers from Feuerbach and Marx to our own day, Theunissen would jettison the Hegelian Geist and take over a modified dialectic for a nonmetaphysical theory of man and society.

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